BoardBuzz readers have seen a lot of changes in tobacco use prevention this year a study was published demonstrating the effectiveness of tobacco-free school policies in Washington state and Australia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published two reports highlighting new evidence for renewed efforts to keep kids from starting to smoke, and the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to add larger, graphic warning labels to cigarette packaging.
Yet even with all of this attention, BoardBuzz knows that smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and the tobacco industry remains innovative in its insidious marketing efforts continuing to reach children with new “e-cigarettes,” menthol flavored additives, and forays into marketing through social media. School districts can do their part in fighting the tobacco epidemic by making sure that all schools have comprehensive tobacco-free school policies that is, policies which prohibit the use of all tobacco products, on all school property, for all people, at all times.
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, a day to combat tobacco addiction by asking smokers not to light up for one day. On this day, thousands of people around the country will try to go a day without smoking, an experiment that will hopefully encourage many of them to quit altogether. BoardBuzz thinks this is a great opportunity to start positive role modeling for kids and hopes that every school district will participate!
If your district or school is participating, we would love to hear about it- leave a comment!
And don’t forget that NSBA’s School Health Programs has a variety of resources available to help update and implement school tobacco policies, including a comprehensive packet of information: “Tobacco Use Prevention 101.” School boards will want to consult with their state school boards association as well to learn about sample or model policies and other information they may have and ensure that any policy adopted complies with relevant state laws. If you would like more information, or need assistance with your comprehensive tobacco-free schools policy, please visit NSBA’s School Health Programs or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.